Forget winter break says Ward

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward doesn’t believe a winter break is viable – even though his side have now seen four games postponed due to the big freeze this month after today’s scheduled home match against Oldham was called off yesterday.

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward doesn’t believe a winter break is viable – even though his side have now seen four games postponed due to the big freeze this month after today’s scheduled home match against Oldham was called off yesterday.

Local match official Mike Bull inspected The Weston Homes Community Stadium pitch yesterday morning and decided that several areas of the pitch were unplayable due to frost and were unlikely to improve in time. In addition, the icy surrounding areas of the ground were deemed unsafe for supporters.

It follows postponements for the U’s against Brighton (a), Bristol Rovers (a), Peterborough (a) this month and means they will play just once in December (the 0-0 home draw with Yeovil on the 11th).

The Essex club, like many across the country, are now facing up to a fixture logjam in the New Year as all these matches begin to get rearranged.


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However, experienced manager Ward – although disappointed – doesn’t think there’s much that can be done.

He said: “For me the idea (of a winter break) is way up in the air because how do you decide when this weather’s going to hit and when is it not going to hit?

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“We’re not like the Scandinavian countries who can say this is when it’s going to happen, so for me it’s a non-starter simply because of the uncertainty of when you do it.

“I’m sure players wouldn’t enjoy a three or four week break because what are they going to do? You can’t stop because you’re going to lose fitness. Players want to play and people want to watch football.

“You get on with it and you deal with it. It looks a little chaotic the way it is, but I don’t think there’s an absolute, definite decision you can make with it.”

He added: “We’re obviously disappointed we can’t get a game in at the moment.

“I’ve been at the club right the way through Christmas and I can understand why we can’t play.

“There are dangerous areas on and off the pitch that can’t be messed with, but we will keep working and try and prepare for the next one.”

The U’s – who are still in the FA Cup – are now looking at a schedule which comprises of seven games in January, six in February, with three fixtures still to rearrange.

Their next match, weather permitting, is due to be at home against Charlton on New Year’s Day.

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